If you’ve been vaping for a while you’re probably familiar with something called Vaper’s Tongue. It’s a fairly common occurrence among Vapers that can cause a reduced sensation of taste. The ailment can be minor, preventing a Vaper from enjoying their favorite e-juice, or it can be major and affect an individual’s ability to taste food or drink. Here are a few things you should know about recognizing vapers tongue and how to cure it.
What is Vaper’s Tongue?
We sometimes refer to Vaper’s Tongue as Vaper’s Fatigue. The second name is more reflective of what’s actually going on with your palette, taste buds, and, believe it or not, your sense of smell. Olfactory fatigue is a legitimate ailment that occurs when the olfactory sensation (your ability to smell) is overwhelmed by a specific aroma. The result is that you can no longer taste your preferred e-liquid.
But, wait. What does smell have to do with taste? More than you might think. Psychologists have demonstrated that smell and taste are two senses that work hand in hand and, to some extent, depend on one another. When you become used to a certain smell, your senses can begin to ignore it. Here’s an illustration. If you are a non-smoker, you will always pick up on the smell of a cigarette. The smoker, however, has a harder time processing and identifying that smell because of olfactory fatigue. The simple way of stating it is that the smoker becomes used to the smell and the brain begins to ignore it. This also affects the sense of taste.
Our taste buds can identify tastes that are sweet, sour, and salty. We can, to a lesser extent, also group some tastes into the categories of bitter and umami (a little-known category that includes savory tastes). To help us properly categorize each taste, the sense of smell makes associations with specific items like fruit and the brain uses those associations to contribute to taste. Try this. Smell a ripe lemon. Did your mouth pucker a little? That’s because even though you didn’t taste the lemon your sense of smell is telling the brain that the taste is sour and your taste buds are responding.
Because e-juices possess aroma in addition to flavor, your olfactory senses create those kinds of associations. As you become used to a certain e-liquid, the senses can become fatigued and accustomed to the taste and smell which can result in Vaper’s Tongue.
Symptoms of Vaper’s Tongue
The primary symptom of Vaper’s Tongue is the inability to taste the flavor of an e-liquid. An e-liquid that you have enjoyed can become bland. Another symptom of the ailment is mouth dryness. You may find yourself with a severe case of cottonmouth. These symptoms can be mild, affecting only your ability to taste e-liquids, or they can be severe and make it hard to taste food and drink.
While not a specific symptom, dehydration is certainly thought to be a contributing factor to a reduced ability to taste e-liquids. The taste buds depend on proper hydration of the body to function properly. Dehydration is serious business and can land you in the hospital if it isn’t attended to.
Remedies and Cures
The first thing you should do when suffering from Vaper’s Tongue is to rehydrate. Drink lots of water and lay off of the sodas and diuretics like coffee and tea. Water is nature’s elixir, and you’ve been told to drink it often since kindergarten.
Another possible solution is to change your flavor of e-liquid for a few weeks. Try something new. There are literally hundreds of flavors to choose from in today’s market. Just remember to make a legitimate switch. In other words, switching from a strawberry e-juice to a strawberry-kiwi blend won’t do the trick. You can also try a stronger flavor, one that is more reminiscent of tobacco. Using a menthol-based flavor can sometimes reinvigorate your sense of taste.
Some sources say that sucking on a lemon will act as a kind of reset button for the taste buds. Feel free to give it a try, but the simple truth is that you might need to cut back on vaping for a couple of weeks and just let your senses of taste and smell catch up. Time is the most effective remedy for Vaper’s Tongue.
While Vaper’s Tongue is not typically serious and can be corrected with some of the remedies mentioned, you should always seek the help of your doctor if the condition persists. Long-term symptoms could indicate other problems that are more concerning. Vaping is something that is meant to be enjoyed, and if your enjoyment has been dampened by Vaper’s Fatigue then you should take action to resolve it.